Stanford Study Examines Where Boys, Girls Do Better in Math, English

June 29, 2018
By Krysten Crawford

A review of test scores from 10,000 school districts finds that gender gaps in math and English vary with community wealth and racial diversity.

When Stanford Professor Sean Reardon and his research team set out to take an unprecedented look at how elementary school girls and boys compare in academic achievement, they expected to find similar stereotype-driven patterns across all 10,000 U.S. school districts: boys consistently outperforming girls in math and girls steadily surpassing boys in reading and writing by a wide margin...

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Bringing a Therapy Dog to Elementary School

June 14, 2018
By Shari Feeny

When you walk down a hall in my school, you may encounter our therapy dog, Boomer. There were originally reservations in our district about having a therapy dog, but now Boomer is one of the most sought after staff members for his ability to enhance many components of social and emotional learning (SEL).

I’m in my 25th year in education, and I believe in the necessity of teaching social and emotional skills - they really do help students thrive academically.

I’ve seen Boomer stop a child’s tears in record time, help a school-phobic kindergartner walk into school with enthusiasm, reset an anxious student’s day, ease test-taking tension, and bring smiles and laughter to everyone he encounters...

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Recognizing and Alleviating Math Anxiety Among Elementary Students

June 14, 2018
By Gina Picha

Math anxiety is much more than a dislike for the subject - it’s a real problem for students, one that blocks the brain’s working memory and starts a self-perpetuating cycle of math avoidance, low achievement, and fear. This form of anxiety manifests as early as kindergarten, and nearly half of elementary school children experience it.

Signs and Symptoms

Avoidance: Math anxiety and math avoidance go hand in hand. Do you have students who seem to grasp at any reason to leave the classroom during math instruction? This could be more than just a student trying to get out of work. Students with high levels of math anxiety tend to avoid mathematics at all costs...

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Commentary
Want to Make School Great Again? Fund Arts Education.

June 14, 2018
By Richard A. Greenwald

The dollars don’t lie.

We live in an era that devalues the arts (fine, performing and music) in our schools.

Sure, we recognize the entertainment value of tv, film, music and live events, but - in gutting art education funding as supposedly frivolous - we have decided that art itself, as something to teach and pass on to the next generation, is worth less than a “real” education and the ever-present state tests and Common Core...

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CDE Launches Initiative to Expand Teaching World Languages

June 14, 2018

On May 30, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced, “Global California 2030,” a bold initiative to vastly expand the teaching and learning of world languages and the number of students proficient in more than one language over the next 12 years.

The initiative aims to better prepare California students for the 21st century economy, broaden their perspective and understanding of the world, and strengthen the diversity of backgrounds and languages that make California’s culture and economy vibrant and dynamic.

“The mission of Global California 2030 is to equip our students with the world language skills to succeed in the global economy and to fully engage with the diverse mixture of cultures and languages found in California and throughout the world,” Torlakson said. “We are setting high goals and dreaming big to help our students and our state.”...

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Safety Recommendations for Hot Weather Summer Training by Student Athletes

June 1, 2018
(The following article was written by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) for EdCal, published by the Association of California School Administrators.)

Today, more than 90 percent of California high schools begin their fall semester in August. Athletic practices are occurring all summer and fall when it can be hot and humid in many parts of California. Exertional Heat Stroke (EHS) is preventable, but there are still tragic occurrences each year of “near-misses” with emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

According to the Center for Disease Control, heat illness during practice or competition is the leading preventable cause of death among U.S. high school athletes. With our wide and diverse climate zones from cool coastal beaches to mountains, valleys and deserts, it is imperative that education and training of administrators, coaches, parents and students play a vital role in this preventable illness. Assembly Bill 2800 would authorize heat illness training to be fulfilled through entities offering free online or other types of training courses. The California Interscholastic Federation, through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), offers a free online class that would fulfill this new proposed requirement. Upon successfully passing the class, the coaches are issued a certificate and added to a statewide data base that allows for school and school district verification of completion, identical to the free CIF NFHS Concussion program...

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“OMG this is WRONG!”
Retired English Teacher Marks Basic Grammatical Mistakes in White House Letter, Mails It Back

June 1, 2018

A teacher in Georgia responded the only way she knew how after receiving a letter from President Donald Trump filled with grammar mistakes: covering the paper with ink and yellow highlighted corrections.

Yvonne Mason, a teacher now living in Atlanta (who taught in Greenville, South Carolina for 17 years) took a picture of a letter Trump sent her regarding school safety and gun violence and posted it on Facebook -- marking it up as if it were a student's work. (See link below.)...

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The Case for Holding Students Accountable
Extrinsic Motivation Gets Kids to Work Harder, Learn More

June 1, 2018
By Adam Tyner and Michael J. Petrilli, Education Next

Sometimes it seems as if we’ve tried everything in our efforts to reform public education, yet nothing has worked to boost student achievement at scale. And despite all of our reform attempts, we have ignored one of the most promising catalysts for student success.

What is this magical, elusive factor?

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Study Finds Learning a Second Language Benefits Integrated Use of Sight and Hearing to Make Sense of Speech

By Erin Karter May 18, 2018

Learning a second language can change the way our senses work together to interpret speech, according to a new Northwestern University study.

In the study, published during April in the journal Brain Sciences, researchers found that bilingual people are better at integrating sight and hearing to make sense of speech...   

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Public Comment Period Open for New Health Education Framework

May 3, 2018

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on May 1 that the public comment period is now open for the Health Education Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve. It presents an approach to health education that focuses on students learning skills and practicing behaviors that will lead to a lifetime of good health.

“Students who are healthy do better in school, attend more days of classes and are ready to learn,” said Torlakson. “This new framework is another example of how California is leading the way for comprehensive health education for all students.”...

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